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A Second Gold Sovereign Award Presented by the BSI

A Second Gold Sovereign Award Presented by the BSI

“… the highest of honours …”

– A Study in Scarleti (STUD)

Peter E. Blau, right, presents the Gold Sovereign Award to Michael F. Whelan at the 2017 BSI Dinner – Photo by Will Walsh

Minutes before the conclusion of this year’s Bakers Street Irregulars annual dinner on January 6, 2017, Peter E. Blau, the 13th Garrideb, stood up and proclaimed “Eminent Bodymaster, I claim urgency!” and approached the podium to make a special presentation to Michael F. Whelan.

In recognition of Whelan chairing his 20th dinner as the Wiggins (leader) of the Baker Street Irregulars, Blau presented him with the Gold Sovereign Award in honor of his service to the group over these many years.

BSI members receive a shilling coin as a symbol of their membership. Those BSI members who have done “extraordinary devotion to the cause beyond the call of duty,” have been awarded the Two Shilling Award (two of our fellow Garridebs – Blau and Robert S. Katz – have been honored with this award). A gold Sovereign is the equivalent of 20 shillings.

This is only the second time that the Gold Sovereign has been awarded by the BSI. The other occasion was at the 1973 dinner where Commissionaire Julian Wolff was the first to be so honored. Mr. Blau’s comments to approach the podium were the same words as BSI member Jim Iraldi proclaimed at the 1973 dinner. You can read (and listen to the presentation) HERE.

In conversation with Blau, I have learned that the sovereign presented to Whelan was dated 1888. This ties in nicely with A Scandal In Bohemia, which took place in 1888 and where Holmes was given a sovereign by The Woman.

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